NEW BOOK SLAMS ARCHAEOLOGY'S "FAIRY TALE" OBSESSION

 

A controversial new book about the Stonehenge bluestones claims that British archaeology has become so obsessed with "fantasies and fairy tales" that it no longer deserves the respect of the rest of the world.

In his book "The Bluestone Enigma" author Brian John undertakes an in-depth examination of the human transport theory which was originally proposed in 1921 to explain the presence of bluestones from West Wales in the famous monument on Salisbury Plain. The theory has been accepted as fact by generations of archaeologists, but it has never been critically examined until now ---- and those who have dared to question it have been vilified or simply ignored by senior academics and by those who are involved in the marketing of Stonehenge as a global icon. The fantasies relating to the bluestones have become ever more colourful and imaginative, culminating in the recent attempt by Professors Geoff Wainwright and Tim Darvill to show that the bluestones were revered for their supposed healing properties and were carried from Pembrokeshire to Stonehenge as part of a strategy to develop the site as a healing centre. In another fantasy, Professor Mike Parker Pearson has suggested that the bluestones were transported because they were stone idols used in rituals associated with Neolithic ancestor worship.

The new book examines the two key theories relating to the movement of the bluestones -- namely the "human transport theory" and the "glacial transport theory." The author argues that the former theory has NO evidence to support it; that it was proposed originally in the aftermath of the First World War for patriotic reasons, to show that our British Neolithic ancestors were cleverer than those who inhabited the continental mainland; and that it has been kept alive ever since for marketing or commercial reasons since Stonehenge brings in many millions of pounds every year to the UK economy.

"English Heritage, Wessex Archaeology and influential parts of the UK archaeological establishment have connived over the years to portray the human transport theory as fact," says Brian John, "on the basis that they do not want the truth to get in the way of a good story. They have seized every opportunity to sell this fairy story to the world, and have systematically ignored all of the geological evidence that shows that the stones have come from many different locations and that they were carried by glacier ice to Salisbury Plain. That, in my book, amounts to scientific corruption."

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